Harbhajan Singh lavishes praise on Ambati Rayudu – Cricket News Update
The Mumbai Indians' skipper, Harbhajan Singh, lavished praise on rookie middle-order batsman, Ambati Rayudu, for his phenomenal late dash which saw the side clinch a four-wicket win over Kings XI Punjab on the penultimate ball of the match, played at the
Punjab Cricket Association (PCA) Stadium, Mohali on Wednesday, April 25, 2012.
“Considering the pitch, I think, the target was a little steep. But, the way Rayudu batted it was great,” said Harbhajan after his side won the crucial match against Punjab by 4 wickets. “He was just exceptional. I have no doubts he will go on to play for
India very soon,” Bhajji added further.
While chasing a competitive total of 168 set by David Hussey-led KXIP, the tourists needed 32 runs off the last 12 deliveries with four wickets in hand. Ambati Rayudu and Robin Peterson held nerves in the tense final moments of the game, plundering 27 runs
in the 19th over, delivered by Piyush Chawla, to put the side in the driver’s seat, with only five runs needed off six balls. Rayudu smashed the winning knock, looting Azhar Mahmood for a boundary on the penultimate ball of the day.
The rookie Andhra Pradesh batsman played a whirlwind knock of 34 runs not out, from just 17 deliveries while Peterson returned unbeaten at a 7-ball 16.
The Mumbai skipper also lavished praised on Rayudu’s partner Robin Peterson and Rohit Sharma, who laid the foundation for the Mumbai win with a 30-ball half century.
“I have to mention that (Robin) Peterson was fantastic as well” said the off-spinner at the post-match press conference. “This was his first match and his batting at the crucial juncture was superb. Rohit (Sharma) again played an important innings for us,”
he added further.
Mumbai Indians had earlier lost the home-leg of the ongoing IPL5 against Punjab by six wickets and Harbhajan said that they were desperate for this win in their return-leg match against the Kings XI outfit.
“We needed this win badly. A victory is a huge relief, I must say,” said the turbanator, who himself has been a disappointment with the ball so far in the tournament, with only one wicket in his name from eight games.
Mumbai will next play Delhi Daredevils in Delhi on Friday, April 27, 2012.